Posts filed under ‘Media – General’
The next time you hear the likes of John McCain or his sidekick Lindsey Graham accuse Obama of a lack of “leadership” or “resolve” in all things foreign policy, remember, when they use those words, they’re counting on us presuming they have detailed, deeply considered plans of their own.
Chances are good they don’t:
The Cliches of “Leadership” and “Resolve”
It’s true that hawks typically assume that real “leadership” requires the use of force or at least the threat to use force, but it can also function as a generic euphemism for U.S. hegemony. In this usage, there is really only one kind of international leadership that qualifies, and this is one in which the U.S. is dominant, preeminent, and preoccupied with policing the globe. This tends to view leadership more as an exercise in giving orders and dictating terms.
As with its ugly cousin “resolve,” one can always get away with insisting that a particular president isn’t showing enough “leadership” in the world, because there is no way to measure these things and no way for the complaint be remedied. Because it is so ill-defined and frequently abused, it can be applied to every issue without even having to think about the specific details. “Leadership” is always the correct response, and “leadership” can’t fail, because it means everything and nothing at the same time.
Too bad the “liberal media” doesn’t press them by asking, and following up on one simple question: “What would you do?”
Check out this February 28 tweet from Sara Hussein and the understatement of the week, i.e., that the Agence France Presse (AFP) photographer, Ahmed Gharabli, “somehow manages to keep snapping.”
When the media writes about Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper (we call him Howdy Doody here in Colorado) objecting to Colorado voters legalizing marijuana, it should be ah, kind of relevant (to say the least) to note that Howdy Doody is a freaking beer magnate and of course he doesn’t want marijuana to take hold:
John Hickenlooper Warns Govs on Pot Legalization
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper urged fellow governors Saturday to be cautious about following his state’s lead in embracing marijuana.
The Democrat worries other states will legalize pot so that they can tax it and fill budget shortfalls.
Yet another so-called “news” item that doesn’t tell readers anything:
One Dead, Seven Sickened in Listeria Outbreak Linked to Cheese
One person has died and three newborns have become ill in an outbreak of listeria linked to Hispanic-style cheese.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday that the death occurred in California. Seven additional illnesses were reported in Maryland.
All of the Maryland victims reported eating soft or semi-soft Hispanic-style cheese that they purchased at different locations of the same grocery store chain. Listeria was later detected in a sample of Caujada en Terron, or fresh cheese curd, purchased at that chain.
The CDC says three of the victims are newborns. Two of those ill are mothers of two of the ill newborns.
This is a case of rushing to publish so-called breaking news before the facts are known. Or maybe it’s a case of not caring about facts.
What is “Hispanic-style cheese?” Could ya’ll narrow that down a bit?
Expiration dates and production codes would be greatly appreciated.
Is “Caujada en Terron” a brand of cheese or a type of cheese?
Aye yie yie. When oh when will we get a better media?
Check out this story from MassLive.com:
NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts zoo is monitoring the health of one of its elephants closely after it was exposed to extreme cold during last week’s snowstorm.
Officials at Buttonwood Zoo in New Bedford say Ruth, a 55-year-old Asian elephant, escaped from her heated barn sometime between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. Friday at the height of the storm with temperatures around zero. Someone forgot to padlock the door.
Zoo Director Keith Lovett tells The Standard-Times (http://bit.ly/1lyUI9n ) she was brought inside as soon as staff noticed and warmed with hot blankets and heaters.
The elephant is on antibiotics as a precaution and is being monitored for hypothermia and frost bite by a vet. Lovett says the effects of extreme cold can sometimes show up days later, but so far Ruth seems fine.
A couple things: One, what’s with zoo employees forgetting to padlock the door to an elephant enclosure? Yeah, everyone makes mistakes but that’s a big one. Two, notice how there’s nothing in this story, originally from the Associated Press, that tells us how long the elephant was outside? It’s datelined today so four days have gone by since the elephant left her heated barn “between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. Friday.” Was she outside from then until today? We have no idea.
Seems to me the amount of time the poor elephant spent outside is ah, hello, of interest here.
Sloppy beyond belief.
The most destructive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico ever, after which people and animals are still suffering is mesmerizingly beautiful?
Really? Is that where we are? Is that what we’ve become? People who see beauty in oil spills?
Ah yes, my Tweet of the Day, from Josh Barro, the politics editor at BusinessInsider.com. This is the thinking of a guy who’s on the tube a lot, telling We the Little People how our economy should work:
There is so much wrong with this:
Me neither. Here’s a short blurb from November 30 from ScienceMag.org. It requires a subscription so this is all I can grab but amazing isn’t it, that we didn’t hear a peep about this in the U.S.
corporate liberal media? They were too busy tracking Obama’s “plunging” poll numbers and the supposed demise of Obamacare I guess.
Featuring the first lunar rover in 40 years, Chang’e-3 is seen as an important milestone on China’s quest to send a crewed mission to the moon by 2030. Its premier scientific instrument is a wide-angle extreme ultraviolet camera that will continuously observe Earth’s plasmasphere and the tail of comet ISON.
Oh, and for the most part, we just don’t do science around here.
UPDATED: Here’s more:
For the first time in more than three decades, the moon may soon see some soft-landing, human-made visitors. China launched its first moon rover—and third moon mission—at 1:30 am today, local time.
The Chinese rover should land December 14 or 15, Space.com reports. The last soft lander to visit the moon’s surface was a Russian craft in 1976. The last people on the moon were Americans, in 1972. Since then, space agencies have sent instruments purposefully crashing onto the moon’s surface, but nothing designed to remain intact after landing, which is more difficult to do.
The “liberal media” has adopted the Republican spin that repealing the Affordable Care Act is popular. Problem is, if the “liberal media” dug just a wee bit below the surface of the latest poll, they’d find that a lot of people oppose it because it doesn’t go far enough. But no. They’re too lazy and too afraid of being accused of having a “liberal bias.” So you can be sure you won’t hear a peep about this today (or tomorrow, or ever):
This has always been the inconvenient detail for the right. Conservatives look at the top-line poll results and say, “See? 58% of Americans oppose ‘Obamacare.’ Therefore, Democrats should listen to Republicans and gut the law.”But it’s the nuances of Americans’ attitudes that matter. In this CNN poll, 40% of the public backs the Affordable Care Act and another 14% want the law to go even further and be more ambitious.In other words, as the CNN analysis explained, 54% of the country either supports Obamacare, or say it’s not liberal enough.
A few days ago I read an article in my local newspaper, which I can’t find on its website now but which read something like this, from the New York Post:
Good luck finding a doctor under ObamaCare.
New York and most other states already face a shortage of physicians and won’t have enough primary-care MDs to serve the millions of newly insured patients, data reviewed by The Post reveal.
State Health Commissioner Dr. Nirav Shah admitted the shortage presents a “potential for a real crisis” in medically underserved areas when the Affordable Care Act kicks in.
Then, out of the blue, I came across this today:
The United States pays roughly twice as much for its doctors as people in other wealthy countries. The reason is that physicians in the United States use their political power to limit the supply of doctors both by restricted med school enrollments and excluding foreign trained physicians. (Yes, 25 percent of U.S. physicians are foreign-trained. Without protectionist measures that number could be more than 50 percent — just like with farm workers.) As a result of this protectionism almost one-third of doctors are in the richest one percent of the income distribution and the overwhelming majority are in the top 3 percent.
Too bad the guy who wrote the article for the Post didn’t take the time to actually do his job as an alleged journalist and ah, dig into the facts a bit more. The issue is much more complicated than he led us to believe.
Tell me if you think we’d ever see an article like this about a guy. Or, this is how sexist and petty the D.C. media is:
Somebody Spot Janet Yellen Some New Threads
Whether Janet Yellen, President Barack Obama’s latest pick to head the Federal Reserve, proves to be the financial genius our sputtering economy so desperately needs, remains to be seen.
At least we know her mind won’t be preoccupied with haute couture.
Here’s the black-on-black ensemble she sported last month when President Barack Obama officially nominated her:
And then the bored-out-of-his-mind moron who thinks this is important news goes on to show a photo of Yellen in the same outfit today when she appeared on Capitol Hill for her confirmation hearing.
Imagine someone saying the same thing about a guy wearing the same suit during two appearances a month apart. It would never happen.
If this isn’t clear evidence that the “liberal media” will pick at anything, ANYTHING, having to do with the Obama administration, I don’t know what is.
Not only that, Yellen is arguably going to be one of the most powerful people on the planet if she’s confirmed. Is nitpicking about her clothes what immediately comes to mind here? Really?
Yes America. You’re being dumbed down big time.
Regular readers of this site know that in life, the fearless journalist’s journalist Michael Hastings was one of my heroes and that his death left me wondering if he might have been murdered. To that end, I’ve attempted to keep up with any new information on Michael’s last days and on the high-speed car crash that killed him. On Tuesday, Ray Sawhill over at Salon published an article/interview with Michael’s brother, Jonathan.
It sounds like Michael was dealing with some nasty, nasty demons:
Michael Hastings’ Life and Death: A Brother’s Reflections
As I told the police out in L.A., a few days before he died, Mike called me and I got the impression that he was having a manic episode, similar to one he had had 15 years ago, which he had referred to in his writing. At that time, drugs had been involved, and I suspected that might be the case again. I immediately booked a flight to L.A. for the next day, with the thought that maybe I could convince him to come back to Vermont to dry out or (less likely) get him to go to detox/rehab there in L.A. When I got to L.A. and saw him, I immediately realized that he was not going to go willingly. I started to make arrangements with our other brother to fly out and help me possibly force Mike into checking himself into a hospital or detox center. I’d thought that I had at least convinced Mike to just stay in his apartment and chill out for the next few days, but he snuck out on me when I was sleeping. He crashed his car before anyone could do anything to help him.
I really rule out foul play entirely. I might have been suspicious if I hadn’t been with him the day before he died. After all, he definitely was investigating and writing about a lot of sensitive subjects. But based on being with him and talking to people who were worried about him in the weeks leading up to his death, and being around him when he had had similar problems when he was younger, I was pretty much convinced that he wasn’t in danger from any outside agency.
So, there’s that. Another piece of the puzzle.
Love this tweet from In These Times‘ labor reporter Mike Elk.
Last week, the head of the NSA, Keith Alexander said the government of the United States has to figure out a way to stop journalists from reporting on leaks from Edward Snowden.
Yesterday British Prime Minister David Cameron said he thought it might be wise for his government to crack down on what newspapers in the UK are allowed to publish (i.e., as in the U.S., that would be things that are embarrassing to the government).
Now we have Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe formulating a “state secrets act” that would “curtail public access to information on a wide range of issues.” And again, what Abe hopes to keep from the public is information about potentially embarrassing (and possibly illegal) acts surrounding issues like the Fukushima nuclear disaster that I would submit, the world — not just the Japanese — needs to know about:
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government is planning a state secrets act that critics say could curtail public access to information on a wide range of issues, including tensions with China and the Fukushima nuclear crisis.
Critics see parallels between the new law and Abe’s drive to revise Japan’s U.S.-drafted, post-war constitution to stress citizen’s duties over civil rights, part of a conservative agenda that includes a stronger military and recasting Japan’s wartime history with a less apologetic tone.
“There is a demand by the established political forces for greater control over the people,” said Lawrence Repeta, a law professor at Meiji University. “This fits with the notion that the state should have broad authority to act in secret.”
“Basically, this bill raises the possibility that the kind of information about which the public should be informed is kept secret eternally,” Tadaaki Muto, a lawyer and member of a task force on the bill at the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, told Reuters.
“Under the bill, the administrative branch can set the range of information that is kept secret at its own discretion.”
Media watchdogs fear the law would seriously hobble journalists’ ability to investigate official misdeeds and blunders, including the collusion between regulators and utilities that led to the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.
A probe by an independent parliamentary panel found that collusion between regulators and the nuclear power industry was a key factor in the failure to prevent the meltdowns at Tokyo Electric Power Co’s (Tepco) tsunami-hit Fukushima plant in March 2011, and the government and the utility remain the focus of criticism for their handling of the on-going crisis.
Tepco has often been accused of concealing information about the crisis and many details have first emerged in the press. In July, Tepco finally admitted to massive leaks of radiation-contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean after months of media reports and denials by the utility.
“This may very well be Abe’s true intention – cover-up of mistaken state actions regarding the Fukushima disaster and/or the necessity of nuclear power,” said Sophia University political science professor Koichi Nakano.
So, there seems to be a new worldwide push by the powers that be to limit what We the People know because the things they want to keep from us would probably infuriate us.
Oh, and here’s an urgent plea from NukeFree.org:
We are in desperate need of documentary filmmakers at Fukushima.
The Japanese government is about to pass a national censorship law clearly meant to make it impossible to know what’s going on there.
Massive quantities of radioactive water have been flowing through the site since the 3/11/11 earthquake/tsunami.
At thousand flimsy tanks hold still more thousands of tons of radioactive water which would pour into the Pacific should they collapse.
An earthquake and two typhoons have have just hit there, flushing still more radioactive water into the sea.
The corrupt and incompetent Tokyo Electric Power Company will soon try moving 400 tons of supremely radioactive rods from a damaged Unit Four fuel pool, an operation that could easily end in global catastrophe. The rods contain 14,000 times as much radioactive cesium as was released at the bombing of Hiroshima.
Nobody knows the exact location of the melted cores from Units One, Two and Three or whether they are still fissioning.
Reuters and others report criminal involvement, slashed wages, inhuman working conditions, serious shortages and lack of training in what has become an extremely dangerous labor crisis.
Intensely radioactive hotspots have turned up throughout Japan, including some that threaten human life in Tokyo and make cast a pall on the upcoming Olympics.
At least one report indicates a massive dead zone in the Pacific apparently caused by radiation pouring in from the site. Tuna contaminated with radiation from Fukushima have been caught off the California coast, and there are widespread reports other marine life disappearing throughout the Pacific.
With the information flow from Fukushima apparently about to go dark, the presence of independent media and researchers has become more critical than ever.
I’m so old I remember when the cable “news” networks said they were giving Republicans more coverage than Democrats because Republicans were in office.
Democrats have been in office for five years.
Fool me once, shame one me. Fool me twice, you’re a lying SOB:
Love how the righties scream about the “liberal media.”
FORT MEADE, Md. — A military judge has sentenced Army Pfc. Bradley Manning to 35 years in prison for giving a trove of military and diplomatic secrets to the website WikiLeaks.
And, my Tweet of the Day:
It would be one thing if “E! News” did this but when the supposed “real” news outlets do it it’s pretty disgusting. In short, get ready to get played:
Here we go again.
More than three years ahead of the 2016 election, Donald Trump is already hinting at a presidential run, and the media — though certain this time around that he can’t be serious — are covering it anyway.
Dubbed a “sideshow” by NBC’s Chuck Todd and a “serial presidential campaign explorer” by CBS News, Trump is being accused by the press of engaging in yet another publicity stunt. “Folks,” the NBC News political team flatly declared this week, “he isn’t going to run.”
But don’t for one second think that means an end to Trump coverage. And lots of it.
Even as reporters suggest that Trump should not be taken seriously, many media organizations continue to cover him as a potential legitimate candidate, as they did in 2012. The reason for that is something Trump, the executive producer and host of NBC’s “The Apprentice,” is very familiar with: ratings.
So, President Obama and his family are officially on vacation in Martha’s Vineyard right now (I’m so jealous) and — natch — Republicans are having a hissy fit, which is as predictable as the sun rising in the east. There’s just so much to do, how can he justify it, they whine.
But did you know that the House is on a five week vacation right now too? And did you know that the Speaker of the House — that would be Republican John Boehner — sets the House’s schedule?
The hypocrisy here is just mindblowingly brazen. I guess they (rightly) count on the media being complicit in their little game and not calling them on it.
That said, here’s my Tweet of the Day:
Got that? The House will work less than 140 days this year, thanks to Boehner who’d rather smoke, drink and play golf than govern. And they have the balls to criticize Obama for taking a freakin’ eight day vacation. It’s really something to behold.
Geezus. Where did this come from?
The Washington Post Co. has agreed to sell its flagship newspaper to Amazon.com founder and chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos, ending the Graham family’s stewardship of one of America’s leading news organizations after four generations.
Bezos, whose entrepreneurship has made him one of the world’s richest men, will pay $250 million in cash for The Post and affiliated publications to The Washington Post Co., which owns the newspaper and other businesses.
Seattle-based Amazon will have no role in the purchase; Bezos himself will buy the news organization and become its sole owner when the sale is completed, probably within 60 days. The Post Co. will change to a new, still-undecided name and continue as a publicly traded company without The Post thereafter.
The deal represents a sudden and stunning turn of events for The Post, Washington’s leading newspaper for decades and a powerful force in shaping the nation’s politics and policy.
In 1998 I read Katharine Graham’s book, Personal History. I lived through the Watergate era and “Woodward and Bernstein” and in her book she talks not only about her life (her husband committed suicide so I could relate because my brother did too) but the Watergate era and how the government tried to intimidate her newspaper. She was incredibly strong and she believed in an informed public, even if it ticked the government off no end. I see her as one of my heroes.
The paper has been a mouthpiece for the government for the last many years unfortunately. Katharine apparently didn’t impart in her children a fierce respect for the power and need for a strong Fourth Estate. So, no big loss I guess. But it will be interesting — very, very interesting — to see what Bezos does with it. Whatever it is, something tells me he won’t have an emphasis on journalism. I mean, from Amazon to the Washington Post? Give me a break.
Heads up Republicans:
Spanish-language television reached a new milestone in America. Univision finished first among broadcast networks during July sweeps in two highly sought-after demographics: 18- to 49-year-olds and 18- to 34-year-olds. According to Nielsen, between June 27, 2013, and July 24, 2013, Univision averaged 1.8 million viewers ages 18 to 49 nightly, beating out English-language networks FOX, NBC, CBS and ABC, all of which have been struggling with declining audiences for decades.
This is the first time that Univision has won any sweeps period among this important demographic (though Univision has been tops in daily primetime ratings many times before). CBS is still No. 1 for overall viewership.
Gutsy, take no prisoners journalist Helen Thomas died this morning: Helen Thomas, Barrier-Busting White House Reporter, Is Dead at 92.
Today’s so-called-journalists could learn a thing or two from her:
In an interview with The New York Times in May 2006, Ms. Thomas was typically uncompromising and unapologetic.
“How would you define the difference between a probing question and a rude one?” she was asked.
“I don’t think there are any rude questions,” she said.
She will be missed.
Disney — yes Disney of all outfits — released the trailer for its movie about Julian Assange and WikiLeaks (due out October 18) yesterday. It’s called “The Fifth Estate.”
Here it is:
We shall see what the end product looks like. I can’t imagine Disney producing a film that makes Assange and/or WikiLeaks look good.
I’ve been flipping between Faux, CNN and MSNBC for the last 45 minutes or so, watching coverage of the plane crash at the San Francisco airport. It’s amazing how much information all three of these cable so-called-news outlets are lifting off of YouTube and Twitter (often not giving credit to the person who took the photo or wrote the tweet which I think is just about as low as a “news” outlet can go}.
Hold that thought.
Meanwhile, I came across this photo from InsideCableNews. They titled it: “Media Swarm SFO.”
As you can see, that’s a pretty pitiful “swarm.”
The point is, the cables don’t need to send reporters to the site of “breaking news” anymore. They pick photos and “facts” out of their “iReports,” YouTubers and Twitterers who, in the end, do their work for them. It saves them megabucks. They use our stuff and they don’t have to hire real people to go out and get the story and the photos.
If the info they report turns out to be incorrect, meh, they can blame it on “early reports” or whatever.
Folks, think about that the next time you file an “iReport.” The cables are feeding off of you and you don’t get a dime.
This morning on Meet the Press, David Gregory, an alleged journalist but we all know what a joke that is, asked Glenn Greenwald, a real journalist, if he should be charged with a crime for “aiding and abetting” a “criminal,” as in Edward Snowden.
That said, here’s my Tweet of the Day:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Oops, I guess I’m going to have a second Tweet of the Day (so many good ones out there today):
Here we go:
Federal prosecutors have filed a sealed criminal complaint against Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked a trove of documents about top-secret surveillance programs, and the United States has asked Hong Kong to detain him on a provisional arrest warrant, according to U.S. officials.
Snowden was charged with espionage, theft and conversion of government property, the officials said.
So, unnamed “U.S. officials” have told the Washington Post that a “sealed” complaint has been filed against Edward Snowdon charging him with, among other things, espionage for leaking information to the American people about what their government is doing to them (i.e., tapping their phones).
Geezus. Orwellian or what? And again, this is from a guy who said he’d have the “most transparent” administration in the history of ever.
I was out most of the early evening today but when I got home I learned that Michael Hastings was killed in a car crash today. Oh. My. God. Say it ain’t so already. This is awful:
Michael Hastings, the fearless journalist whose reporting brought down the career of General Stanley McChrystal, has died in a car accident in Los Angeles, Rolling Stone has learned. He was 33.
OMG. Check out this WaPo column by Sally Quinn in which she criticizes Hillary Clinton’s first tweet. Quinn apparently has waaay too much time on her hands.